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Friday, May 22, 2015

Yellow Paper Planes - Feathers Touch

Jeremy Ebert of Yellow Paper Planes was kind enough to send me a copy of YPPs EP, Feathers Touch. To go with it, he sent me some notes from the band's singer Joshua James, giving some context to what the songs are about. I don't recall anyone ever providing info like that before, and it's a nice treat. Thanks, dudes. What's also kind of neat is that this is a throwback to my old "4 song reviews" from way back in the day! Good times.

Knock Once - Guitar reminds me of Beach House a little, but maybe because I was listening to Beach House earlier in the week. MARACA!!! Knock Once is somber and plodding, not in a negative way though. It's like trying to wade through the complicated muck of the past, still hoping there is something worth finding there. The music has a great layering to it, building a neatly complex melody. Everything picks up during a great crescendo to end the song. It's surprising how rare it is to hear a song end with a crescendo, and it's refreshing here.

Double Life -This is one of those songs that reminds you of other songs you've heard in the past. It reminds me of so many songs, and sounds so familiar, that I can't think of anything specific that it reminds me of. It's a good song, with great pacing and change ups throughout. I can picture this being a single.

Good Lovers - Another song that could be a single. It reminds me of the band, Hum, only not terrible and not completely boring. I guess that would make it the opposite of Hum, but it is stylistically similar. The instruments and vocals compliment each other well in this one. I don't know why, but emotionally, this song makes me a little sad. At 1:25 there is something weird that happens to the singer. I think it is a fault in the copy I'm listening to, or he chose to warble at that particular moment and nowhere else in the song.

Ghost - Man, I love fuzzy guitars. This song is a little heavier with a steady beat with killer fuzz and feedback. Harkens back to the glory days of the 90s. Is it okay for me to pick a favorite? Cause this is it. I really dig this one. It's not like Melvins heavy or anything, but maybe a little bit Screaming Trees? I dunno. Whatever it is, it's great. As I was writing this originally, I realized that the end of Ghost is actually the next track, Annex. I'm just going to go with them being the same song in my head, 'cause it's too good of an ending.

If you are interested, here are the notes they sent me. I think it is nice to have an insight into the creative process behind a piece of art.  Plus, no one told me I couldn't publish it. So there ya go.

from our front man Josh: Quick background on each song:

Knock Once - was written about a couple different women I had similar relationships with. Specifically the chorus comes from the want to help someone and keep them safe even though you aren't near them.

Double Life - was written in the middle of an existential crisis. It's a feeling I go back to a lot, that I'm living multiple incongruous lives but not leading any of them to their fullest extent.

Good Lovers - is a love song at its core, but not one about fiery passion or flowery romance. It instead pays homage to the type of love that comes after spending a large part of your life with someone.

Ghost - was written about a couple things. It's main thread is the struggle to live the life you want before you get snuffed out. It's either advice I'm giving to someone else or ruing the fact that I can't seem to give it to myself.

Overall, it is worth noting the struggles we had putting this EP together. Yellow Paper Planes came together as a four piece in the place of continuing on with the same formula Brandon and I had been operating under as Joshua P. James and the Paper Planes. We wrote an entire set of tunes and went on the road with it only to return and scrap most of what we had worked out. We were set to record a few months later when Brandon broke his hand forcing us to take some time off. During that time off we stripped everything back to the studs again and final developed in the way we all felt good about leading to the recording of "Feather's Touch".

Check out Yellow Paper Planes on their official site, with music downloads and all sorts of pizazz. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pop Country and Holdin' on tight

I listen to a lot of pop-country at work. The more I hear it, the more I think I understand.
For example, a popular ditty right now is "A Guy Walks Into A Bar" performed by Tyler Farr and written by Melissa Peirce, Brad Tursi, and Jonathan Singleton (possibly because Tyler Farr is a fake, phoney, piece of shit that sucked his way through Nashville... oh shit, that was mean wasn't it?).

This song is about a loser falling for a barfly, and "holding on tight." Why do I point that out? Because "holding on tight," is just as common in pop-country as mentions of whiskey, freedom, and trucks. What "hold on tight," means as far as I can tell, is that the singer is an abusive alcoholic and the love interest is supposed to take it for as long as they can, before they wise up and leave.

In nearly all of these songs, both people are abusive alcoholics, so they have to "hold on tight," to each other. If you ever grew up knowing "that couple," of white trash friends who shouldn't be together but stay together even though they hate each other and are constantly at each others throats....

... they're just holdin' on tight.

Because God forbid they stop being drunk idiots.

Also, this is one of the worst songs, of any genre, out right now. So fake, so cliche, so boring, so utterly full of shit. Just like this wanker's fans.

See for yourself!

Whoa! this is my first post here in a very long time! Maybe there will be more soon. Who knows?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Alt Smoke

Another business shout out: Alt-Smoke on campus.
Lane, the dude who helped me out, said, "When you leave here today, you won't have any questions." And he was right. He answered every question I had about e-cigs, vapor, whatever you want to call it.
Cool thing about the place is you can try before you buy; there are 140 flavors to choose from, and complete starter sets for less than $40. A weeks worth of vapor is 6 bucks. 10% off on your first visit, and every $100 you spend (builds up over time, not all at once) you get 10 bucks off. 
All of the workers there are knowledgeable and friendly. I never felt any pressure to buy anything, and had all the time in the world to test out different flavors. I stayed away from the ones that tasted like tobacco; my favorites were Clearwater and Smarty Pants, both of which were sort of melon-y, but not too strong. 
One of the first questions they ask you is how many cigarettes you smoke in a day. They base their recommendation of nicotine levels off that, and guide you on how to decrease the dosage to zero. 
There are tables and chairs and people just seem to hang out there and chill. 
If you're interested in e-cigs or vaping, I recommend Alt-Smoke at 2460 N High Street. They are open from 10am-10pm seven days a week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kendrick Lamar and diss raps

I listened to Kendrick Lamar's "diss" rap to, let's face it, all the other shitty rappers out there today, the day after it was released. And it was weak. Incredibly weak. No secret that I think Lamar is unbelievably overrated. But that wasn't a diss rap. If it was, then rap is at it's lowest point ever right now. Tupac's Hit 'Em Up was a diss rap. Ice Cube's No Vaseline was a diss rap. Cypress Hill's No Rest for the Wicked was a diss rap. Every single thing Eazy E released was a diss rap. Kendrick Lamar rapped some bullshit with every other word being "nigga" and the industry is falling all over itself. Fucking pathetic. I'm supposed to believe that Drake is a hardcore dude? Uh, yeah. okay. What next, Chief Keef is the next savior of hip hop?